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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

HABITS AND DISTRIBUTION  OF   TAKSZ&S

55*

there is, however, a gap left to mark the JLemurine characters of
the animal. The placenta, too, has been compared to that of the
Apes. The dental formula is that of the genus Lemur, save for
the absence of an incisor on each side of the lower jaw; the
number of teeth is therefore thirty-four. The incisors of the
lower jaw are upright, and not procumbent as in other Lemurs.
The caecum is of moderate length. The brain is almost smooth,
but there is a Sylvian fissure and an antero-temporal, which latter
does not reach the lower margin of
the brain, but divides the middle part
of the temporal lobe. The name
Tarsier, as may be inferred, was
originally given to this creature by
Buffon on account of the abnormal
ankle, and it was compared by him
with the Jerboa, like which animal
the Tarsier leaps when it descends to
the ground. The genus is Malayan,
but its range extends to the Philip-
pines and to Celebes and Borneo.
The Tarsiers are nocturnal and parti-
cularly arboreal; they live in pairs,
in holes in tree stems, and are mainly
insectivorous in their food. One,           jy-

rarely two young  are produced  at  a  FIG. 264.—Bight pes of

spectrum. (Nat, size.) #, Astra-
galus ; «, calcaneum ; c1, internal
cuneiform ; e2, middle cunei-
form j c8, external cuneiform ;
c&, cuboid; TO, navicular; 2-V,
the digits. (From Flower's
Osteology.)

birth. Contrary to what is found in
many Lemurs, the Tarsier is a silent
creature, and at most emits a " sharp,
shrill call." Dr. Charles Hose, who
has studied this creature, has noticed
that the mother often carries her young one about in her mouth
like a Cat. Like so many lemurs this animal is held in super-
stitious dread, which no doubt is the result of its most weird
appearance.1
Fossil Letxrars.—The Lemuroids are a very ancient race;
they extend back to the very earliest strata of the Eocene, the
Torrejon and Puerco beds, which, as already said, are thought to
be more referable to the Cretaceous than to the Tertiary epoch.
1 EOT a sturvey of the position of Tar*ius, see fiarle, Amer.
1897, p. &69 j and Wat. Science, x. 1897, p. 309,